łī‘”–‘őń’™ NO£ļ2003.50

Complexity Digest 2003.50 Dec. 15, 2003

Archive: http://www.comdig.org, European Mirror: http://www.comdig.de Asian
http://www.phil.pku.edu.cn/resguide/comdig/ (Chinese GB-Code) "I think the
next century will be the
century of complexity." Stephen Hawking



01. Cave Colours Reveal Mental Leap, BBC News Online
02. Spread of Decisions in the Corporate Board Network, arXiv
03. Computational Intelligence in Economics and Finance: Carrying on the
Legacy of Herbert Simon,
Information Sciences
03.01. A Web-Based Investigation Of Human Market Interactions, Physica A
03.02. Learning More From Their Successes Than From Their Failures, Ecol.
04. Executive Personality Traits And Eating Behavior, Int. J. Neurosc.
05. Mother of All Marsupials, Science Now
06. Distorting Limb Design For Dynamically Similar Locomotion, Alphagalileo
& Proc. Biol. Sc.
07. Comparing Genomes Shows Split Between Chimps and People, NYTimes
07.01. Genome Scan Shows Human-Chimp Differences, Natue Science update
07.02. Humans, Chimps Wear Different Genes, Science Now
08. Understanding Cell Lineages as Complex Adaptive Systems, Blood Cells,
Molecules, and Diseases
08.01. Developmental Reprogramming: Take A Cell, Any Cell, Nature
08.02. Sperm From Stem Cells Fertilize Egg, Natue Science update
08.03. Stretching Changes Stem Cells' Fate, Natue Science update
09. Smurfing at the Leading Edge, Science
09.01. Cell Migration: Integrating Signals from Front to Back, Science
09.02. Developmental Biology: Long-Range Signalling By Touch, Nature
09.03. Protein Of Life, Protein Of Death, The Scientist
10. Systems Biology: Tracing Life's Circuitry, Science
10.01. Microglia: The Enemy Within?, Science
10.02. Tiny Bubbles Are Implicated In Cancer And AIDS, Science News
11. New Farmers: Salt Marsh Snails Plow Leaves, Fertilize Fungus, Science News
11.01. Beetles Could Prove A Hit With The Aircraft Industry, ScienceDaily
11.02. Automated Analysis Of Bee Behavior May Yield Better Robots, ScienceDaily
12. Earthlike Planets Might Be Common, U Washington Press Release
12.01. Earth's Waning Magnet, Science Now
13. Modern Global Climate Change, Science
13.01. Early Farmers Warmed Earth's Climate, NewScientist
13.02. Greenhouse Gas 'Plan B' Gaining Support, NewScientist
14. Study Reveals Complex Changes In West Antarctic Ice Streams, ScienceDaily
15. Wings of Change, Shape-Shifting Aircraft, Science News
15.01. Self-Assembled 'Nanorings' Could Boost Computer Memory, Purdue News
16. UN Summit Pledges Net For All, BBC News Online
16.01. Web Pioneer Opens Digital Divide Summit, BBC News Online
17. Biopolitics In The EU And The U.S.: A Race To The Bottom Or Convergence
To The Top?, Int.
Studies Qtrly.
18. The Great Election Grab, The New Yorker
18.01. Rigging Election Boundaries: When Does It Go Too Far?, Christian
Science Monitor
18.02. Time To Draw The Line, NYTimes
18.03. Russia: Voters Profess Little Or No Interest In Upcoming Duma Polls,
Radio Free Europe
19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
19.01. Efforts to Fight Terror Financing Reported to Lag, NYTimes
19.02. German Judge Frees Qaeda Suspect; Cites U.S. Secrecy, Desmond
Butler, NYTimes
20. Links & Snippets
20.01. Other Publications
20.02. Webcast Announcements
20.03. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
20.04. ComDig Announcement: New ComDig Archive in Beta Test


01. Cave Colours Reveal Mental Leap , BBC News Online

Excerpts: Ochre-stained rocks have been found in the cave
Red-stained bones dug up in a cave in Israel are prompting researchers to
speculate that symbolic
thought emerged much earlier than they had believed. (?
"The red ochre meant something to them, exactly what we do not know, but it
is not inconceivable
that they painted their dead with red ochre," (?.
"It is an example of symbolic thought, the ochre symbolised death. The
humans at this time behaved
in a way that was not just functional but symbolic as well," (?.

  Ochre-stained rocks have been found in the cave

* Cave Colours Reveal Mental Leap, David Whitehouse  , BBC News Online


02. Spread of Decisions in the Corporate Board Network , arXiv

Abstract: Boards of large corporations sharing some of their directors are
connected in complex
networks. Boards are responsible for corporations' long-term strategy and
are often involved in
decisions about a common topic related to the belief in economical growth
or recession.
We are interested in understanding under which conditions a large majority
of boards making a same
decision can emerge in the network. We present a model where board
directors are engaged in a
decision making dynamics based on "herd behavior". Boards influence each
other through shared
We find that imitation of colleagues and opinion bias due to the interlock
do not trigger an
avalanche of identical decisions over the board network, whereas the
information about interlocked
boards' decisions does. There is no need to invoke global public
information, nor external driving
This model provides a simple endogenous mechanism to explain the fact that
boards of the largest
corporations of a country can, in the span of a few months, take the same
decisions about general

* Spread of Decisions in the Corporate Board Network, Stefano Battiston ,
Gerard Weisbuch , Eric
Bonabeau , 2003-12-9, DOI: cond-mat/0312228, arXiv
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


03. Computational Intelligence in Economics and Finance: Carrying on the
Legacy of Herbert Simon ,
Information Sciences

Abstract: This is an editorial guide for the special issue on computational
intelligence (CI) in
economics and finance. A historical introduction to the background is
given. This research paradigm
is traced back to Herbert Simon, who, as a founder of artificial
intelligence, pioneered the
applications of AI to economics. The move from the classical AI to CI
indicates a continuation of
the legacy of Herbert Simon. Computational intelligence has proved to be a
constructive foundation
for economics. In responding to what Herbert Simon referred as procedural
rationality, our study of
bounded rationality has been enriched by bringing autonomous agents into
the economic analysis.

* Computational Intelligence in Economics and Finance: Carrying on the
Legacy of Herbert Simon,
Shu-Heng Chen , 2003-12-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.ins.2003.11.006, Information
Sciences, Article in Press,
Uncorrected Proof
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


03.01. A Web-Based Investigation Of Human Market Interactions , Physica A

Abstract: The unprecedented access offered by the World Wide Web brings
with it the potential to
gather huge amounts of data on human activities. Here we exploit this by
using a toy model of
financial markets, the Minority Game, to investigate human speculative
trading behaviour and
information capacity. Hundreds of individuals have played a total of tens
of thousands of game
turns (...). In particular, our results indicate a transition in players'
decision-making, as the
markets become more difficult, between deductive behaviour making use of
short-term trends in the
market, and highly repetitive behaviour that ignores entirely the market
history (...).

* The Interactive Minority Game: A Web-Based Investigation Of Human Market
Interactions, P. Laureti
  , P. Ruch  , J. Wakeling joseph.wakeling@unifr.ch , Y.-C. Zhang , online
2003/10/03, DOI:
10.1016/j.physa.2003.07.002, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its
* Contributed by Atin Das


03.02. Learning More From Their Successes Than From Their Failures , Ecol.

Abstract: Learning occurs in all stages of a fishery, in the entire fishing
career of a fisher, and
even within a single fishing trip. It is an important aspect of fleet
dynamics; failure to take it
into proper account biases results of population dynamics studies and
results of stock assessments.
In this paper, I introduce and slightly generalise three learning models
and derive a new one. I
use them to analyse data on the short-term learning behaviour of all
fishers as a group in the
fishery (...) to demonstrate their utilities.

* Modelling The Learning Behaviour Of Fishers: Learning More From Their
Successes Than From Their
Failures, Y. Xiao yongshun.xiao@bigpond.com , 2003/12/03, DOI:
Ecological Modelling
* Contributed by Pritha Das


04. Executive Personality Traits And Eating Behavior , Int. J. Neurosc.

Abstract: Eating disorders (...) commonly involve a dysregulation of
behavior (e.g., a lack or
excess of inhibition and impulsive eating patterns) that is suggestive of
prefrontal dysfunction.
Functional neuro-imaging studies show that prefrontal-subcortical systems
play a role in eating
behavior and appetite in healthy individuals, and that people with eating
disorders have altered
activity in these systems. There was also a positive association with
cognitive restraint of
eating, suggesting that increased compensatory behaviors follow
disinhibited eating. These
psychometric findings reinforce those of other methodologies, supporting a
role for prefrontal
systems in eating.

* Executive Personality Traits And Eating Behavior, Spinella M.  , Lyke J.
, Jan. 2004, DOI:
10.1080/00207450490249356, International Journal Of Neuroscience
* Contributed by Atin Das


05. Mother of All Marsupials , Science Now

Excerpts: Last year, the fossil beds of Liaoning Province, China, yielded
the most primitive
placental mammal ever found. Now comes another record-breaker: the most
ancestral marsupial known,
in such good shape that even some of the fur is preserved. (? the
mouse-sized fossil will provide
a wealth of information on how the earliest marsupials evolved. (...).
At 125 million years, the new fossil--dubbed Sinodelphys szalayi--pushes
back the record of
marsupials by 15 million years. (Molecular data suggest that the group
could be as old as 190
million years.)

* Mother of All Marsupials, Erik Stokstad  , 03/12/12, Science Now


06. Distorting Limb Design For Dynamically Similar Locomotion ,
Alphagalileo & Proc. Biol. Sc.

Abstract: It is a general scientific principle that structures of the same
shape and material
composition, but different size, cannot function in the same way. This
applies to animals and
plants, as well as man-made structures. However, mammals of a wide range of
different sizes are
able to move in the same way. We show that this is possible due to
systematic changes or
'distortions' in shape that compensate for the constancy of musculoskeletal
tissue properties. From
the literature we identify the straight-legged posture of larger mammals as
a distortion that
allows mammals of different sizes to exhibit similar movement patterns.

* Distorting Limb Design For Dynamically Similar Locomotion, S.
Bullimore  , J. F. Burn ,
2003/12/08, Alphagalileo & Proceedings Biological Sciences
* Contributed by Atin Das


07. Comparing Genomes Shows Split Between Chimps and People , NYTimes

Excerpts: By comparing the human genome with that of chimpanzees, people's
closest living relative,
scientists have identified a partial list of the genes that make people human.

They include genes for hearing and speech, genes that wire the developing
brain, genes for
detecting odors and genes that shape bone structure.(...)

Humans and chimps shared a joint ancestor as recently as five million years
ago. (? they would
understand the genetic basis of how people differ from chimps and, hence,
the essence of what makes
humans human.

* Comparing Genomes Shows Split Between Chimps and People, Nicholas Wade  ,
03/12/12, NYTimes


07.01. Genome Scan Shows Human-Chimp Differences , Natue Science update

Excerpts: The human and chimp genomes are about 99.2% identical. In the
most important bits of the
genome, this figure rises to 99.5%. Yet Cargill and her colleagues believe
that they have seen the
fingerprint of evolution in these small DNA differences.
The researchers compared the sequences for more than 7,500 human,
chimpanzee and mouse genes,
compiled by the genome projects for each species. Matching the two primates
against the mouse
revealed whether chimp or man has changed most from the ancestral starting
point shared by the
three mammals.

* Genome Scan Shows Human-Chimp Differences, John Whitfield  , 03/12/08,
Nature Science Update


07.02. Humans, Chimps Wear Different Genes , Science Now

Excerpts: In both chimps and humans, many genes involved in cell signaling
(? have undergone major
changes since the time of the species' last common ancestor 5 million years
ago. But the genes
didn't follow the same track in the two species, suggesting that they faced
different pressures
from natural selection. In humans, 27 of 48 olfactory proteins and three of
21 hearing proteins
showed significant accelerated change, whereas that was not true in the
chimp. In contrast, the
chimp's genes for mesoderm development and skeletal structure had changed more.

* Humans, Chimps Wear Different Genes, Elizabeth Pennisi  , 03/12/11,
Science Now


08. Understanding Cell Lineages as Complex Adaptive Systems , Blood Cells,
Molecules, and Diseases

Abstract: Stem cells may be considered complex reactive systems because of
their vast number in a
living system, their reactive nature, and the influence of local
environmental factors (such as the
state of neighboring cells, tissue matrix, stem cell physiological
processes) on their behavior. In
such systems, emergent global behavior arises through the multitude of
local interactions among the
cell agents. Approaching hematopoietic and other stem cell lineages from
this perspective have
critical ramifications on current thinking relating to the plasticity of
these lineage systems, the
modeling of stem cell systems, and the interpretation of clinical data
regarding many diseases
within such models.

* Understanding Cell Lineages as Complex Adaptive Systems, Neil D. Theise ,
Mark d'Inverno ,
2003-12-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2003.09.010, Blood Cells, Molecules, and
Diseases, Article in Press,
Corrected Proof
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


08.01. Developmental Reprogramming: Take A Cell, Any Cell , Nature

Excerpts: Can an adult human cell be turned back to an embryonic state
without the need for
cloning? If so, ethical objections to personalized regenerative medicine
would be swept away. (?
The treasure in this case is a cell that will resemble an embryonic stem
(ES) cell, which can grow
into any type of tissue. This cellular alchemy might one day provide the
means to repair a failing
body with grafts that are derived from the patient's own cells ?and so
won't be rejected by their
immune system.

* Developmental Reprogramming: Take A Cell, Any Cell, Carina Dennis  ,
03/12/04, DOI:
10.1038/426490a, Nature 426, 490 - 491


08.02. Sperm From Stem Cells Fertilize Egg , Natue Science update

Excerpts: Mouse sperm grown from stem cells have successfully fertilized
eggs. Laboratory-grown
human sperm could follow.
The achievement follows the production of fertile eggs from stem cells
earlier this year. It could
lead to alternative ways to help infertile couples conceive by in vitro
fertilization. Such cells
could, for instance, help parents who have genetic defects to give birth to
normal children. (?
The researchers used stem cells derived from male mouse embryos and grew
them into hollow balls,
rather like an early embryo.

* Sperm From Stem Cells Fertilize Egg, Helen R. Pilcher  , 03/12/11, Nature
Science Update


08.03. Stretching Changes Stem Cells' Fate , Natue Science update

Excerpts: Stretching stem cells can influence whether they turn into fat or
bone, say researchers.
This might partly explain why exercise strengthens the skeleton.
The group studied mesenchymal stem cells. These dwell in bone marrow and
can create new fat,
cartilage, muscle and bone. The scientists perched single cells on one of
two different
growth-enhancing carpets: either squares that gave cells room to stretch
out, or tiny dots that
reined them in.
Stretched cells were more likely to become bone cells, the group found;
huddled ones became fat.

* Stretching Changes Stem Cells' Fate, Erika Check  , 03/12/13, Nature
Science Update


09. Smurfing at the Leading Edge , Science

Excerpts: Establishing and maintaining cell polarity is essential for a
wide range of biological
processes. This is particularly evident during cell migration when the
asymmetric distribution of
protrusion forces at the front and the contraction-retraction forces at the
rear drive cells
forward. (? A major question facing cell biologists is how the activity of
these three small
GTPases is localized within cells. (? an alternative mechanism is revealed
by Wang et al. (2) with
their demonstration that during cell migration Rho GTPase activity is
spatially restricted to the
rear of the cell (?.

* Smurfing at the Leading Edge, Aron B. Jaffe  , Alan Hall

, Science Dec 5 2003: 1690-1691


09.01. Cell Migration: Integrating Signals from Front to Back , Science

Excerpts: Cell migration is a highly integrated multistep process that
orchestrates embryonic
morphogenesis; contributes to tissue repair and regeneration; and drives
disease progression in
cancer, mental retardation, atherosclerosis, and arthritis. The migrating
cell is highly polarized
with complex regulatory pathways that spatially and temporally integrate
its component processes.
This review describes the mechanisms underlying the major steps of
migration and the signaling
pathways that regulate them, and outlines recent advances investigating the
nature of polarity in
migrating cells and the pathways that establish it.

* Cell Migration: Integrating Signals from Front to Back, Anne J. Ridley  ,
Martin A. Schwartz  ,
Keith Burridge , Richard A. Firtel , Mark H. Ginsberg , Gary Borisy , J.
Thomas Parsons , Alan Rick
Horwitz , Science Dec 5 2003: 1704-1709


09.02. Developmental Biology: Long-Range Signalling By Touch , Nature

Excerpts: One of the best-known mechanisms involves the production and
release of signalling
proteins, which convey instructions over long distances about how cells
should behave and what they
should become. Information can also be exchanged through the direct contact
of cells with their
immediate neighbours. Nerve cells are specialized for communicating over
long distances by touch.
(...) they can send longer-distance signals that are still mediated by
direct contact. To do so,
the cells grow finger-like protrusions called filopodia. (? reveals a new
tool by which tissues
can be patterned during development.

* Developmental Biology: Long-Range Signalling By Touch, Stephen M.
Cohen  cohen@embl.de  ,
03/12/04, DOI: 10.1038/426503a, Nature 426, 503 - 504


09.03. Protein Of Life, Protein Of Death , The Scientist

Excerpts: Complex, multicellular organisms must finely regulate their inner
environment to assure
cells can thrive, but must also initiate apoptosis (programmed cell death)
when necessary.
Apoptosis is critical for normal development and tissue homeostasis, and
aberrant apoptosis can
lead to cancer and neural degeneration. In a PNAS article published online
December 8, Jianhua
Zhang and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
pinpoint an enzyme that
plays an important role in both the regulation of normal apoptosis and
embryogenesis in mammals

* Protein Of Life, Protein Of Death, Andrea Rinaldi  , 03/12/09, The Scientist


10. Systems Biology: Tracing Life's Circuitry , Science

Excerpts: New technologies have inundated researchers with a deluge of
information on genes,
proteins, cellular dynamics, and organisms' responses to mutations and the
environment. (? Systems
biologists are taking on that challenge, relying heavily on mathematics and
statistics to integrate
data into a more complete picture of how biological networks from cells to
whole organisms
function. They are building models and making predictions about how
biological systems will behave;
the ultimate goal is to understand deep mysteries--such as how cells
divide, animals develop,
plants flower, and humans breathe.

* Systems Biology: Tracing Life's Circuitry, Elizabeth Pennisi
, Science Dec 5 2003: 1646-1649.


10.01. Microglia: The Enemy Within? , Science

Excerpts: Unlike most other structures in the adult brain, the hippocampus
is able to produce new
neurons (neurogenesis) throughout adult life as it contains a population of
neural stem cells. It
is believed that neurogenesis contributes to the primary task of the
hippocampus, that of
coordinating learning and memory. (? in a rat model of brain inflammation,
the ability of
hippocampal neural stem cells to generate new neurons is severely reduced.
Intriguingly, the
authors were able to restore hippocampal neurogenesis by blocking
inflammation with indomethacin, a
common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

* Microglia: The Enemy Within?, Gerd Kempermann  , Harald Neumann

, Science Dec 5 2003: 1689-1690.


10.02. Tiny Bubbles Are Implicated In Cancer And AIDS , Science News

Cancer cells may use such vesicles to expel the medication, thereby
thwarting its therapeutic
(...) suggesting that tumors use exosomes to foil cancer drugs. And other
scientists are now using
exosomes given off by immune cells to battle cancer and infectious microbes.

"Exosomes are a device for transporting material from cell to cell. It's
kind of a biological
FedEx," (...)

Unless one knows what to look for, it's easy to miss exosomes. Until 20
years ago, the flattened
spheres of lipid molecules, ranging from 50 to 200 nanometers in diameter,
were dismissed as merely
free-floating fragments of a cell's membrane.

* Tiny Bubbles Are Implicated In Cancer And AIDS, John Travis  , 03/12/06,
Science News, see also
(Audible format )


11. New Farmers: Salt Marsh Snails Plow Leaves, Fertilize Fungus , Science News

Excerpts: A salt marsh snail works the leaves of a plant in what
researchers say looks like a
simple form of farming.

SLASH AGRICULTURE. Leaf from a salt marsh shows snail farm: a
fungus-infected cut adorned with
The snail Littoraria irrorata saws long gashes down the narrow leaves of
the dominant plants in
East Coast salt marshes. It doesn't eat the fresh tissue but instead waits
until fungus riddles the
leaf wound, (...).
Previously, biologists had observed cultivation of edible fungus only in
some beetles, termites,
and ants (...). The snail behavior "seems to be the first time fungal
farming has been found
outside of insects-and the first time in a marine system," says Silliman.
"Fungal farming may be
more widespread than we thought."

* New Farmers: Salt Marsh Snails Plow Leaves, Fertilize Fungus, 03/12/06,
Science News, Vol. 164,
No. 23, see also (Audible format )


11.01. Beetles Could Prove A Hit With The Aircraft Industry , ScienceDaily

Excerpts: A species of beetle, that squirts its predators with a
high-pressure spray of boiling
liquid, could provide the key to significant improvements in aircraft
engine design. The bombardier
beetle's unique natural combustion technique is being studied to see if it
can be copied for use in
the aircraft industry. Scientists studying the bombardier beetle's
jet-based defence mechanism hope
it will help to solve a problem that can occasionally occur at high
altitude - re-igniting a gas
turbine aircraft engine which has cut out, when the outside air temperature
is as low as minus 50
degrees Centigrade!

* Beetles Could Prove A Hit With The Aircraft Industry, 2003/12/09,
ScienceDaily & Engg. And Phys.
Sc. Res. Council
* Contributed by Atin Das


11.02. Automated Analysis Of Bee Behavior May Yield Better Robots ,

Excerpts: A new computer vision system for automated analysis of animal
movement - honey bee
activities, in particular - is expected to accelerate animal behavior
research, which also has
implications for biologically inspired design of robots and computers.
Social insects, such as ants
and bees, represent the existence of successful large-scale, robust
behavior forged from the
interaction of many, simple individuals, Balch explained. Such behavior can
offer ideas on how to
organize a cooperating colony of robots capable of complex operations. To
expedite the
understanding of such behavior, Balch's team developed a computer vision
system that automates
analysis of animal movement (...).

* Automated Analysis Of Bee Behavior May Yield Better Robots, 2003/12/11,
ScienceDaily & Georgia
Institute Of Technology
* Contributed by Atin Das


12. Earthlike Planets Might Be Common , U Washington Press Release

Excerpts: Astrobiologists disagree about whether advanced life is common or
rare in our universe.
But new research suggests that one thing is pretty certain ?if an Earthlike
world with significant
water is needed for advanced life to evolve, there could be many candidates.
In 44 computer simulations of planet formation near a sun, astronomers
found that each simulation
produced one to four Earthlike planets, including 11 so-called "habitable"
planets about the same
distance from their stars as Earth is from our sun.

* Earthlike Planets Might Be Common, 03/12/10, U Washington Press Release


12.01. Earth's Waning Magnet , Science Now

Excerpts: Earth's magnetic field is rapidly getting weaker, and
geophysicists don't know why. The
decrease in strength--a startling 10% in the last 160 years--could signal
that the magnetic field
is starting one of its sporadic flip-flops. (?, Earth's atmosphere may
sustain some damage, (...)

(? field occasionally reverses: The north magnetic pole becomes the south,
and vice versa. Before
and during that transition, the strength of the field plunges. Today, the
dipole is weakening so
quickly that i

* Earth's Waning Magnet, Robert Irion  , 03/12/12, Science Now


13. Modern Global Climate Change , Science

Excerpts: Modern climate change is dominated by human influences, which are
now large enough to
exceed the bounds of natural variability. (? There is still considerable
uncertainty about the
rates of change that can be expected, but it is clear that these changes
will be increasingly
manifested in important and tangible ways, such as changes in extremes of
temperature and
precipitation, decreases in seasonal and perennial snow and ice extent, and
sea level rise. (? We
are venturing into the unknown with climate, and its associated impacts
could be quite disruptive.

* Modern Global Climate Change, Thomas R. Karl  , Kevin E. Trenberth
, Science Dec 5 2003: 1719-1723


13.01. Early Farmers Warmed Earth's Climate , NewScientist

Excerpts: After ruling out possible natural causes for the greenhouse gas
increases, Ruddiman now
thinks that early farmers clearing forests in Europe, India and China
account for the surge of
carbon dioxide, while rice paddies and burgeoning herds of livestock
produced the extra methane.
He estimates that over time this activity laced the atmosphere with about
40 parts per million of
carbon dioxide and 250 parts per billion of methane, enough to produce
nearly 0.8 °„C of warming
before 1700, around the dawn of industrialisation.

* Early Farmers Warmed Earth's Climate, 03/12/11, New Scientist


13.02. Greenhouse Gas 'Plan B' Gaining Support , NewScientist

Excerpts: And that is where the "convergence" part of C&C comes in.
Industrialised nations have so
far done most of the polluting. The US emits 25 times as much CO2 per head
as India, for example,
but if pollution is to be rationed, that cannot carry on. (?

So under the C&C proposals, national emissions will converge year by year
towards some agreed
target based upon each country's population (?. In effect, by a target date
(? 2050, every
citizen of the world should have an equal right to pollute.

* Greenhouse Gas 'Plan B' Gaining Support, Fred Pearce  , 03/12/10, New


14. Study Reveals Complex Changes In West Antarctic Ice Streams , ScienceDaily

Excerpts: An Ohio State University study has revealed a complex picture of
change that is occurring
in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Scientists here are calibrating
data from NASA's Ice,
Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), and using the satellite to
study the ice streams that
carry ice from the interior of the WAIS out to sea. Early results of the
study clearly show that
all the ice streams of the WAIS have changed substantially in the last five
years, but each in its
own way (...).

* Study Reveals Complex Changes In West Antarctic Ice Streams, 2003/12/09,
ScienceDaily & Ohio
State University
* Contributed by Atin Das


15. Wings of Change, Shape-Shifting Aircraft , Science News

Excerpts: Not everyone is taking a full-wing approach to wing warping. Wing
edges that can mold
themselves into a variety of graceful curves and other deformations can
also provide flight control
while reducing drag. (?
In a recent joint effort by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
engineers devised a spine-like structure that snakes along a wing's
trailing edge. For the vertebra
of that spine, researchers in the so-called Smart Wing Program used
lightweight aluminum wedges.
Each wedge could be independently extended or tilted using actuators. A
stretchy silicone skin
covered the spinal assembly.

* Wings of Change, Shape-Shifting Aircraft, Peter Weiss , 03/12/06, Science
News, Vol. 164, No. 23
See also (Audible format


15.01. Self-Assembled 'Nanorings' Could Boost Computer Memory , Purdue News


cobalt nanoparticles
Download graphic - caption below

Wei's research team has found a way to create tiny magnetic rings from
particles made of cobalt.
The rings are much less than 100 nanometers across ?an important threshold
for the size-conscious
computer industry ?and can store magnetic information at room temperature.
Best of all, these
"nanorings" form all on their own, a process commonly known as self-assembly.(?
"The nanoparticles link up when they are brought close together. Normally
you might expect these to
form chains, but under the right conditions, the particles will assemble
into rings instead."

* Self-Assembled 'Nanorings' Could Boost Computer Memory, 03/12/10, Purdue News


16. UN Summit Pledges Net For All , BBC News Online

Excerpts: A UN summit designed to shrink the technology gap between rich
and poor nations has ended
with agreement on lofty principles, but no commitments to practical
measures. (?
Delegates from some 175 governments meeting in Geneva agreed on the need to
take the net to the
millions of people currently offline.
But there were no pledges for cash to bankroll technology-related projects,
as some African
countries had demanded.
Delegates said the summit did succeed in alerting world leaders to the
importance of new technology
as a tool for development.

* UN Summit Pledges Net For All, Alfred Hermida  , 03/12/12, BBC News Online


16.01. Web Pioneer Opens Digital Divide Summit , BBC News Online


The machine where it all started

As world leaders meet to consider the future of the internet, the man who
took it out of the lab
and into the mainstream took centre-stage.
At an event to mark the opening of the UN technology summit in Geneva, Tim
Berners-Lee was reunited
with the machine he used to invent the web.

With UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at his side, he used the world's first
web server to send an
e-mail to more than 80 schools worldwide.

* Web Pioneer Opens Digital Divide Summit, Alfred Hermida  , 03/12/10, BBC
News Online


17. Biopolitics In The EU And The U.S.: A Race To The Bottom Or Convergence
To The Top? , Int.
Studies Qtrly.

Abstract: This paper examines the circumstances under which economic
globalization has led (and not
led) to a convergence in the regulation of agricultural biotechnology in
the European Union (EU)
and the United States. While the EU has taken a precautionary approach to
regulating biotech
products, the U.S. has decided that these products are no different from
those made using more
traditional methods. These varying regulatory responses pose an interesting
puzzle (...). The paper
then examines why the U.S. biotechnology policy mode recently has shown
signs of gravitating toward
the EU model, signifying a potential for convergence to the top.

* Biopolitics In The EU And The U.S.: A Race To The Bottom Or Convergence
To The Top?, Prakash A.
, Kollman K. L. , Dec. 2003, DOI: 10.1046/j.0020-8833.2003.00281.x,
International Studies Quarterly
* Contributed by Pritha Das


18. The Great Election Grab , The New Yorker

Excerpts: There is a sense of embarrassment about what has happened in
American politics,?(? "The
rules of decorum have fallen apart. Voters no longer choose members of the
House; the people who
draw the lines do. The court seems to think that something has to be
done.?The case could well
become the court's most important foray into the political process since
Bush v. Gore. As Ronald
Klain, a Democratic lawyer in election-law cases, puts it, "At stake in
this case is control of
Congress-nothing more, nothing less.?
* The Great Election Grab, Jeffrey Toobin , 03/12/08, The New Yorker


18.01. Rigging Election Boundaries: When Does It Go Too Far? , Christian
Science Monitor

Excerpts: The basic allegation in Pennsylvania is that gerrymandering
undermines the concept of
majority rule: Why should Republicans win 12 of 19 congressional seats,
when 48 percent of the
state's registered voters are Democrats and 42 percent are registered

"It would be quixotic to attempt to bar state legislatures from considering
politics as they redraw
district lines," (?. "But when one political party guarantees itself a
solid majority of seats,
even if it wins only a minority of the votes, the Constitution must provide
a remedy."

* Rigging Election Boundaries: When Does It Go Too Far?, Warren Richey ,
Christian Science Monitor


18.02. Time To Draw The Line , NYTimes

Excerpts: (? gerrymandering can violate the Equal Protection Clause. (? In
the nearly two decades
since, the equal-protection problems raised by partisan gerrymandering have
increased because of
the growing partisanship of the line drawers, and the sophistication of the
computers they use.
As the Supreme Court recognized in its one-person, one-vote line of cases,
the interests of the
voters in a fair and democratic process must be paramount. The American
promise of democracy will
be hollow if the House of Representatives virtually ceases to have
contested elections.

* Time To Draw The Line, 03/12/10, NYTimes


18.03. Russia: Voters Profess Little Or No Interest In Upcoming Duma Polls
, Radio Free Europe

Excerpts: Widespread reporting by Russian newspapers of political parties
allegedly "selling"
coveted spots on their candidate lists to rich businessmen has furthered
the perception that the
process is tainted and to a large extent predetermined, reinforcing the
feeling among average
voters that they have little chance to influence the outcome on 7 December.
Piontkovsky says many people recall Josef Stalin's cynical comment of some
70 years ago in this
regard: "Stalin said, as you remember: 'It's not important how they vote.
The important thing is
how we count the votes.'"

* Russia: Voters Profess Little Or No Interest In Upcoming Duma Polls,
Jeremy Bransten  , 03/11/27,


19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks


19.01. Efforts to Fight Terror Financing Reported to Lag , NYTimes

Excerpts: The campaign to cut off terrorist financing has seen some
high-profile successes and
arrests in recent months, and investigators are continuing to delve into a
complex network of
Islamic charities and organizations in Northern Virginia that they say may
have funneled money to
terrorist groups. (?
   But the efforts to trace terrorist financing have been marred at times
by turf wars between
agencies and occasional conflicts in mission. (?
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (? felt stymied as investigators have
either been let go or
reassigned to other agencies.

* Efforts to Fight Terror Financing Reported to Lag, Eric Lichtblau  ,
Timothy L. O'brien  ,
03/12/12, NYTimes


19.02. German Judge Frees Qaeda Suspect; Cites U.S. Secrecy, Desmond Butler
, NYTimes

Excerpts: The United States' refusal to allow testimony from a jailed Qaeda
figure prompted a
Hamburg judge on Thursday to order the release of a Moroccan accused of
aiding the Sept. 11
hijackers. (?
The judge acted after reviewing new evidence that Ramzi bin al-Shibh, (?,
told American
interrogators that only he and the three suicide pilots from the Hamburg
cell knew about the
attacks before they happened. The judge said that while he had strong
doubts about the reliability
of the evidence, he could not properly evaluate it without testimony (?.

* German Judge Frees Qaeda Suspect; Cites U.S. Secrecy, Desmond Butler,
Desmond Butler  , 03/12/12,


20. Links & Snippets


20.01. Other Publications

- Dynamic Receptor Team Formation Can Explain the High Signal Transduction
Gain in E. coli, Reka
Albert , Yu-wen Chiu , Hans G. Othmer , 2003-12-8, arXiv, DOI: q-bio.MN/0312012
- Partiality in Physics, Bob Coecke , Keye Martin , 2003-12-04, arXiv, DOI:
- Dynamics of Rumor Spreading in Complex Networks, Yamir Moreno , Maziar
Nekovee , Amalio. F.
Pacheco , 2003-12-4, arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0312131
- Efficiency Through Disinformation, Richard Metzler , Mark Klein , Yaneer
Bar-Yam , 2003-12-10,
arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0312266
- Cognitive Paradigms: Which One Is the Best?, Carlos Gershenson
http://homepages.vub.ac.be/~cgershen/, 2003-12-2, Cognitive Systems
Research, Article in Press,
Corrected Proof, DOI: 10.1016/j.cogsys.2003.10.002
- Stochastic Resonance And Noise Delayed Extinction In A Model Of Two
Competing Species, D. Valenti
valentid@gip.dft.unipa.it , A. Fiasconaro  , B. Spagnolo , online
2003/10/10, Physica A:
Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2003.09.036
- On The Log-Normal Distribution Of Stock Market Data, I. Antoniou
iantonio@vub.ac.be , Vi. V.
Ivanov  , Va. V. Ivanov  , P. V. Zrelov , online 2003/10/08, Physica A:
Statistical Mechanics and
its Applications, DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2003.09.034
- Dynamical Regimes Underlying Epileptiform Events: Role Of Instabilities
And Bifurcations In Brain
Activity, J. L. P. Velazquez jlpv@sickkids.ca , M. A. Cortez  , O. C.
Snead, III  , R. Wennberg ,
2003/12/05, Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2003.07.002
- Finding Favorites, F. Chung  , R. Graham  , J. Mao  , A. Yao
yao@cs.princeton.edu , 2003/10/23,
Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity
- Did Crohn's Disease Evolve With The Advent Of Refrigerators?, R. Lane
richard.lane@lancet.com ,
2003/12/10, Alphagalileo & The Lancet
- Tipsy Punters: Sauropod Dinosaur Pneumaticity, Buoyancy And Aquatic
Habits, D. M. Henderson ,
2003/12/08, Alphagalileo & Biology Letters
- Adaptive Variation In Senescence: Reproductive Life Span In A Wild Salmon
Population, A. P.
Hendry  , Y. E. Morbey  , O. K. Berg  , J. K. Wenburg , 2003/12/08,
Alphagalileo & Proceedings
Biological Sciences
- Genetic Similarity And Hatching Success In Birds, C. Spottiswoode  , A.
P. Møller , 2003/12/08,
Alphagalileo & Proceedings Biological Sciences
- Abandoned Penguin Colonies May Help Refine Antarctic Climate Studies,
2003/12/09, ScienceDaily &
National Science Foundation
- History Of Frog Deformities Suggests Emerging Disease, 2003/12/10,
ScienceDaily & Univ. Of
- Evolution Of Cannibalism: Referring To Costs Of Cannibalism, K. Nishimura
kinya@fish.hokudai.ac.jp , Y. Isoda , 2003/11/26, Journal of Theoretical
Biology, DOI:
- State-Space Models For The Dynamics Of Wild Animal Populations, S. T.
steve@mcs.st-and.ac.uk , K. B. Newman  , L. Thomas  , N. B. Koesters ,
2003/10/10, Ecological
Modelling, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2003.08.002
- Bottom-Up And Top-Down Effects In Food Chains Depend On Functional
Dependence: An Explicit
Framework, R. A. Herendeen herendee@uiuc.edu , 2003/11/21, Ecological
Modelling, DOI:
- The Nexus Of Market Society, Liberal Preferences, And Democratic Peace:
Interdisciplinary Theory
And Evidence, Mousseau M. , Dec. 2003, International Studies Quarterly, DOI:
- Marines Plan to Use Velvet Glove More Than Iron Fist in Iraq, Michael R.
, NY Times. U.S. Marines headed to Iraq this spring say they intend to
avoid the get-tough tactics
that have been used by Army units.
- Cutting James Baker's Ties, NY Times. If James Baker III is going to deal
with the crucial
problem of restructuring Iraq's official debts, he needs to sever his ties
to firms doing work
related to Iraq.
- A Deliberate Debacle, Paul Krugman
, NY Times. The Bush administration's hard-liners are deliberately
sabotaging reconciliation
between America and its allies.
- NetLogo 2.0 Released! , NetLogo is a cross-platform agent-based parallel
modeling and simulation
environment from CCL (the people who brought you StarLogoT).
- Bad News for Eggnog Lovers , Science Now. Moderate tippling doesn't fend
off stroke--and may
shrink the brain
- Stem Cells Allow Infertile Males To Be Fathers, New Scientist. For the
first time, infertile mice
have fathered live pups after transplants of frozen sperm stem cells - the
work could one day help
infertile men
- Nibbling Away at DNA, Jennifer Couzin , 13/12/08, Science Now, Enzymes
that chew up chromosome
tips may contribute to cancer
- Faults May Gang Up On L.A., Robert Irion , 13/12/08, Science Now. A large
quake on the San
Jacinto fault might incite nearby faults
- Scientists Make Sperm in a Dish, Gretchen Vogel , 13/12/10, Science Now,
Sperm derived from stem
cells fertilize oocytes for the first time
- British Warning on Antidepressant Use for Youth, Erica Goode
, NY Times. Drug regulators recommended against the use of antidepressants
in the treatment of
depressed children under 18.
- "Chaos & Life, Complexity and Order in Evolution and Thought", R J
Bird  , 03/11, Columbia
University Press
- Jokes Activate Same Brain Region As Cocaine, HELEN PEARSON  , 03/12/04,
Nature Science Update.
Humour tickles drug centre that gives hedonistic high
- Light 'Frozen' In Its Tracks , 03/12/10, NewScientist.com, This is then
"frozen" with the help of
two control beams. The light in the control beams interacts with the
rubidium atoms to create
layers that alternately transmit and reflect the pulse.
- Engineered Pig Organs Survive In Monkeys, Helen Pearson , 03/12/08,
Nature Science Update,
Humanised kidneys appear to thwart first round of rejection.
- SUVs Double Pedestrians' Risk Of Death, New Scientist. Someone struck by
a large sports utility
vehicle is more than twice as likely to die as someone hit by a saloon car,
a new study finds
- Diamond Model Reveals New Sparkle, New Scientist. A simulation of the
complex way that the gems
scatter light can predict how unconventional designs will look, without
risking real stones
- New Antibody Delivers A Double Blow, New Scientist. A single drug could
now mount a two-pronged
assault on diseases such as cancer, thanks to a breakthrough in molecular
- Humans And Computers Compete In Virtual Creature Game, New Scientist. The
online game lets
contestants create and race virtual beasts - it can also compare different
artificial intelligence
- Solar Flip-Flops: Sun Storms Spawn Magnetic Reversal, 03/12/06, Science
News, Vol. 164, No. 23,
see also(Audible format ). Coronal mass ejections, billion-ton clouds of
charged particles blasted
from the sun, appear to play a key role in reversing the sun's magnetic
poles every 11 years.
- Cloud Chemistry: Atmospheric Scientists Dissect Cirrus Clouds, 03/12/06,
Science News, Week of
Dec. 6, 2003; Vol. 164, No. 23. see also(Audible format) . Cirrus cloud
formation is influenced by
the particles in the atmosphere, including pollutants.
- Seek and Destroy: Virus Attacks Cancer, Spares Normal Cells, 03/12/06,
Science News, Vol. 164,
No. 23, see also(Audible format ). A virus carried by mosquitoes naturally
homes in on cancer cells
and destroys them.
- Doppler Toppler: Experiment Upends Normal Frequency Shift, 03/12/06,
Science News, Vol. 164, No.
23, see also(Audible format ). The expected drop in frequency of a signal
from a receding
source®ģthe Doppler effect®ģbecomes a frequency increase when a high-current
electric pulse creates
extraordinary electromagnetic conditions in a web of electrical components.
- The 536 solutions for the world's oldest puzzle, the loculus of
Archimedes, are given in this
Mathematica notebook...
- U.S. Sees Evidence of Overcharging in Iraq Contract, Douglas Jehl  ,
03/12/12, NYTimes. A
Pentagon investigation found that a Halliburton subsidiary overcharged for
fuel. The company
defended its actions.
- Bush Defends Barring Nations From Iraq Deals, Elisabeth Bumiller  ,
03/12/12, NYTimes. President
Bush said James A. Baker III would still meet with several nations to ask
that they forgive debts
owed by Iraq.
- Egyptians Went With the Flow, Katie Greene  , 03/12/11, Science Now.
Satellite images suggest
that drought forced ancient settlements to follow the water
- Bidding for Isolation, 03/12/11, NYTimes. Barring countries from
reconstruction contracts in Iraq
has abruptly reversed the rising trend of international cooperation.
- Breaking and Entering, Thomas L. Friedman  , 03/12/11, NYTimes. So far,
the biggest political
fallout from the Iraq war has not been in the Arab world. It's been in Israel.
- George Marshall's World, and Ours, Andrew J. Goodpaster  , 03/12/11,
NYTimes. Our leaders should
learn from the legacy of Gen. George C. Marshall and shift from occupation
to collaboration.
- Emergence Of A Molecular Bose-Einstein Condensate From A Fermi Gas,
Markus Greiner
markus.greiner@colorado.edu , Cindy A. Regal  , Deborah S. Jin  , 03/12/04,
Nature 426, 537 - 540,
DOI: 10.1038/nature02199


20.02. Webcast Announcements

   Presentation Webcasts from Scientific Sessions 2003,
   American Heart Association
   EVOLVABILITY & INTERACTION: Evolutionary Substrates of
   Communication, Signaling, and Perception in the Dynamics of Social
   Complexity, London, UK, 03/10/08-10
   The Semantic Web
   and Language Technology - Its Potential and Practicalities,
   Bucharest, Romania, 03/07/28-08/08
   ECAL 2003, 7th
   European Conference on Artificial Life, Dortmund, Germany,
   IMA International
   Conference Bifurcation 2003, Univ. Southampton, UK, 27-30 July,
   New Santa
   Fe Institute President About His Vision for SFI's Future Role,
   (Video, Santa Fe, NM, 03/06/04)
   SPIE's 1st Intl Symp
   on Fluctuations and Noise, Santa Fe, NM, 2003/06/01-04
   NAS Sackler
   Colloquium on Mapping Knowledge Domains, Video/Audio Report,
   Uncertainty and
   Surprise: Questions on Working with the Unexpected and Unknowable,
   The University of Texas Austin, Texas USA, 2003/04/10-12
   13th Ann Intl Conf,
   Soc f Chaos Theory in Psych & Life Sciences, Boston, MA, USA,
   Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and
   Live Events
   LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since
   February 1998
   Edge Videos


20.03. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements

  American Society for Cell Biology 43rd Annual Meeting, San
  Francisco, 03/12/13-17

  International Workshop on the Mathematics and Algorithms of Social
  Insects, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, USA;

  WSEAS Intl Conf on Non-linear Analysis, Non-linear Systems
  and Chaos, Athens, Greece, 03/12/29-31

  Physical, Biological and Social Systems, MIT, Cambridge,
  MA, 04/01/05-09

  Biennial Seminar on the Philosophical, Epistemological, and
  Methodological Implications of Complexity Theory, Havana,
  Cuba, 04/01/07-10

  Western Simulation MultiConference (WMC'04), San Diego,
  CA., USA, 04/01/18-24

  Mathematica Gulf Conference, Muscat, Oman, 04/01/26

  International Workshop on Biologically Inspired Approaches to
  Advanced Information Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland,

  of Socio-Economic Systems, 1st Intl Winter School
  2004, Konstanz, Germany, 04/02/16-20

  in Molecular Electronics: From molecular materials to single
  molecule devices, Dresden, Germany, 04/02/23

  Leadership in
  Rapidly Changing Business Environments -Learning and Adapting in
  Time, Cambridge, MA, 04/02/26-27

  Intl ICSC Symposium Engineering Of Intelligent Systems (EIS
  2004), Island of Madeira, Portugal, 04/02/29-03/02

  on Longevity , Sydney, Australia, 04/03/05-07

  Physik sozio-ökonomischer Systeme Jahrestagung
  (AKSOE), Regensburg, Germany, 04/03/08-12

  Science 2004, Washington, 04/03/20-21

  Fractal 2004,
  "Complexity and Fractals in Nature", 8th Intl
  Multidisciplinary Conf, Vancouver, Canada, 04/04/04-07

  9th IEEE Intl Conf on Engineering of Complex Computer
  Systems, Florence, Italy, 04/04/14-16

  Advanced Simulation Technologies Conference (ASTC'04),
  Arlington, VA., USA, 04/04/18-22

  (New Kind of Science) 2004 Conference and Minicourse,
  Boston, Massachusetts, 04/04/22-25

  Vulnerability and Network Failure: Constructions and Experiences
  of Emergencies, Crises and Collapse, Manchester, UK,

  International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2004),
  Boston, MA, USA, 04/05/16-21

  3rd Intl Conf on
  Systems Thinking in Management (ICSTM 2004) "Transforming
  Organizations to Achieve Sustainable Success",
  Philadelphia, Pa, USA, 04/05/19-21

  Annual Workshop on Economics and Heterogeneous Interaction Agents
  (WEHIA04),, Kyoto, Japan, 2004/05/27-29

  International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious
  Diseases, Toulon, France, 04/06/03-05

  Experimental Chaos Conference, Florence, Italy,

  From Animals To Animats
  8, 8th Intl Conf On The Simulation Of Adaptive Behavior
  (SAB'04), Los Angeles, USA, 04/07/13-17

  World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and
  Informatics, Orlando, Florida, USA, 04/07/18-21

  Summer Simulation MultiConference (SummerSim'04), San Jose
  Hyatt, San Jose, California, 04/07/25-29

  International Mathematica Symposium (IMS 2004), Banff,
  Canada, 04/08/02-06

  2004, 4th International Workshop on Ant Colony
  Optimization and Swarm Intelligence, Brussels, Belgium,

  Ontology, An Inquiry into Systems, Emergence, Levels of Reality,
  and Forms of Causality, Trento, Italy,

  Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems
  (ALIFE9), Boston, Massachusetts, 04/09/12-15

  8th Intl Conf on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature
  (PPSN VIII), Birmingham, UK, 04/09/18-22

  XVII Brazilian
  Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Sao Luis, Maranhao -
  Brazil, 04/09/22-24

  Technology Conference, Champaign, Illinois,


20.04. ComDig Announcement: New ComDig Archive in Beta Test

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